Spain's Repsol Tarragona cracker back on line after outage

17 February 2011 17:02  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Repsol’s cracker at Tarragona in Spain is back on line, a couple of days later than originally planned, following an unscheduled outage, a company source said on Thursday.

The cracker, which has the capacity to produce 660,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and 290,000 tonnes/year of propylene, according to ICIS data, was shut down on 6 February and restart was expected prior to 14 February.

The cause of the outage was not disclosed.

Repsol's unplanned shutdown at Tarragona marked the third time since the beginning of the year that a cracker in Europe was off line for more than a week.

However, SABIC’s Olefins 4 cracker in Geleen and Dow Chemical’s No 2 cracker in Terneuzen, both in the Netherlands, were back on stream.

This week, there was news of yet another unscheduled outage, at the FAO NC3 cracker in Antwerp, Belgium.

Sources said that the cracker, which has the capacity to produce 600,000 tonnes/year of ethylene according to ICIS data, was believed to be shutting down on Friday 18 February until early March. This was not confirmed by FAO - the Fina Antwerp Olefins joint venture between ExxonMobil and Total Petrochemicals.

Market players were watching the supply-demand balance very closely amid preparations for the spring maintenance season.

The first turnarounds were scheduled to get underway in the Netherlands at Dow’s No 1 cracker in Terneuzen and SABIC’s Olefins 3 cracker at Geleen in March.

The ethylene contract for February settled at €1,135/tonne ($1,534/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), while propylene was agreed at €1,105/tonne.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on olefins visit ICIS chemical intelligence
For more on Repsol visit ICIS company intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214

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